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Mexican Meatball Soup with Butternut Squash!

Known as albóndigas, Mexican meatballs simmered in broth are a popular comfort food around the country—each region has its own recipe. Here, a mix of pork and beef combine for added richness. Be sure not to overmix the raw meat; gentle handling leads to tender meatballs.

Course Soup
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword classic recipe, easy appetizer recipe, easy dinner recipe
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 2 servings
Author Sun Basket Foods


  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 Tablespoons Fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime
  • ½ pound peeled butternut squash diced 1/2 "
  • ¼ pound Napa cabbage
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 5 ounces ground beef
  • 5 ounces ground pork
  • 1 pasture-raised organic egg

Meatball spice blend:

  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 3/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • sea salt
  • pepper
  • olive oil


Prepare veggies:

  1. Peel the onion and cut it into ½-inch pieces.
  2. Scrub the carrot and peel, if desired. Cut in half lengthwise, then crosswise into ¼-inch-thick half-moons.
  3. Finely chop the cilantro.
  4. Cut the lime into wedges.
  5. Peel and dice butternut squash
  6. Cut the cabbage into thin strips.
  7. Combine meatball spices and set aside.

Start the soup:

  1. In a pot over medium-high heat, warm 2 tablespoons oil until hot but not smoking. Add the onion, carrot, and squash. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables start to soften, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the tomato paste, stirring to coat the vegetables. Add the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, and cook until the flavors have developed, 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. While the soup cooks, start the meatballs.

Make the meatballs:

  1. Drain the ground beef and ground pork on a paper-towel-lined plate.
  2. In a bowl, beat the egg with the meatball spice blend and half the cilantro. Add the beef and pork and season generously with salt and pepper. Using wet hands, mix until well combined, then form the mixture into 2-inch balls.

Finish the soup:

  1. Add the meatballs to the soup. Return to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook until the meatballs are cooked through, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.


  1. Transfer the soup to individual bowls and top with the cabbage and remaining cilantro. Serve with the lime wedges.